Johnny Mac is Back

Mac.jpgThe Blue Jays have re-signed John McDonald to a two-year contract worth $3 million. This will keep Johnny Mac in the fold through the 2011 season, giving Toronto some depth around the infield.

This isn’t necessarily a great signing, but it’s not a bad one, either. The Jays are a team in transition, without a stud shortstop in the system, so a short-term solution is the best one right now.

If the Blue Jays grab a shortstop prospect in a possible Roy Halladay trade, McDonald would serve as a valuable mentor. He’s one of the best defensive infielders in the game. If Toronto signs or trades for a starting shortstop, McDonald provides a solid backup.

The Jays also have a free-agent shortstop in Marco Scutaro, but he is a Type A free agent — something Toronto did not anticipate happening when they traded for him a few winters ago. Scutaro will require a multi-year deal and has a suitor in the Red Sox, among others. The Jays might be content with taking the two compensatory Draft picks rather than re-signing him.

Does more McDonald on a regular basis hurt the offense? It might. He’s a career .238 hitter. That being said, the Blue Jays are looking at another fourth place finish in the American League East in 2010. The playoffs are more of a long-term goal at this point, so the Jays need a short-term solution until they find their shortstop of the future.

–JB

1 Comment

“… the Blue Jays are looking at another fourth place finish in the American League East in 2010.”

I love the Jays and watching them play, but it’s stuff like this that turns me off to baseball altogether. The fact that, here in the autumn of 2009 we can say with a fair amount of certainty that this team won’t be in the post-season next year makes me want to scream ‘Then what’s the point?’. Teams are eliminated before they ever play their first game just because of the imbalance of the rosters and the limited number of teams that actually make it to the post-season.

This could all be fixed with:

a) A salary cap on all teams
and
b) Shortening the season and having the top eight teams in each league make it to the post-season.

Yes, start the playoffs in September and have one more round. That way, fans don’t give up on their teams halfway through the season when they know there’s no chance of their teams making the post-season. And level the playing field with a cap, so that big market teams like the Yanks and Red Sox can’t just buy their way to the World Series.

And though these would work to bring fans, excitement and real competition back to the game, I hold little hope in ever seeing it happen.

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